Thursday, April 7, 2011

Disney Day 1: Driving & Downtown Disney!

For Katie Anne's "Golden Birthday" (turning 4 on 4/4), we decided to plan something big and special for her - spending her birthday in Disney World!  After waiting and waiting for the day to arrive, it was finally Saturday and time to head down to Orlando to celebrate!  Katie Anne couldn't have been more excited.  She woke up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, ready to hit the road.  She kept saying, "BAM!  We're going!" over and over ... we don't know where she got that, but it was hilarious!  After we grabbed some breakfast and loaded the car, it was time to hit the highway!

 Katie Anne, Peach, and a ton of stuff to keep her entertained during the eight-hour drive!

As we got closer and closer to Disney, you could see things like Epcot on the horizon.  Katie Anne was getting more excited by the minute, looking out the windows for the first sign that she was officially in Disney territory.  Finally, we saw the official welcome sign over the road!  We were here!
 Katie Anne was so thrilled that she could barely contain herself!
When we got to our hotel - the Disney All-Stars Movie Resort - Katie Anne was thrilled to see that we were staying in the Toy Story area.  She couldn't believe the giant Toy Story themed things in the "Andy's Room" part of the resort!
 I couldn't get Katie Anne and the entire giant Buzz Lightyear into the same picture - you can barely see the top of her little head down there at Buzz's feet!
 There she is!

We dropped off our luggage and looked at the Toy Story decorations for a few minutes, then we jumped on the bus and headed to Downtown Disney to shop and eat dinner.  Downtown Disney was so neat!  There were tons of cool shops to look at, lots of restaurants, outdoor entertainment, and more to see and do.  It definitely kicked off the entire Disney experience for us!  
Katie Anne started the evening with a little dance party in the street in front of a live band:

 Then, she wanted to pose on a big motorcycle at the Harley store:
 Our next stop was the giant World of Disney store, where the Stitch statue on the top of the sign spit water into the crowds!
Of course, KA wanted in on the spitting action - here she is getting sprayed!
Inside the store, it was time for a sprinkle of a more girly variety - pixie dust!
 Daddy and KA outside near the river in Downtown Disney:
 Katie Anne wanted to stop by the trading pins store for a picture with the Daisy and Donald Duck statues:

For dinner, we ate at the T-Rex restaurant, which is filled with lots of moving, roaring, life-sized dinosaurs!  Katie Anne was terrified of the two-story T rex:

 She couldn't even pose for a picture next to the smaller dinosaurs!

 Once we got inside, we sat in the aquarium area, which was really neat.  We also had a view into the ice cave and over the dinosaur area - there was always something roaring, moving, or flying around!  Once we got settled at the table, Katie Anne said, "Oh, I guess all these animals are just puppets."  She was much more comfortable after that, and she even petted a tiny triceratops and a baby wooly mammoth!

 After our very late dinner (our reservations were at 9:15!) the fossil dig area was less crowded, so KA wanted to take her turn digging up some fossils before we left Downtown Disney.

When we got back to our hotel, it was after 11 pm ... but that wasn't too late for one more tour of Andy's room for Katie Anne! 
 Everything in Andy's Room was larger than life!

At almost midnight, it was finally time for bed after a long, fun, Disney day!

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